News 10 Speaks to urgent care doctor about Lyme detection

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

News 10 first told you about the risk of Lyme disease infection during this tick season from our interview with Jackson County Vector Control.

Today News 10 spoke with M.D. Jon Van Valkenburg, the Medical Director at Providence Stewart Meadows Medical Plaza Urgent Care to better understand the health repercussions of the disease.

Doctor Van Valkenburg says symptoms can anywhere from mild and treatable to prolonged health complications depending on how early a tick bite is detected and treated.

The good news for our region is the worst of Lyme infected ticks reproduce on the east coast.

However, it doesn’t we're out of the woods seeing as our neighbors in Northern California are reporting more and more incidents of infection.

Doctor Van Valkenburg says this is the tell-all sign for the disease.

"There's a distinctive rash called the erythema cronica migrans rash, which can develop anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks after a tick bite."

The rash is clear in the center and has a red oval border surrounding the bite.

That happens in about 80 percent of Lyme disease cases.

However, other symptoms include headaches, fever, swollen glands and muscle aches, which mimic flu-like symptoms and is why so many people go undiagnosed.

Doctor Van Valkenburg says the best chance of beating the disease is early detection, so if you've been exposed to the outdoors and experience these symptoms he urges you to seek medical attention.

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